Mara Alper's affinities with dance, animation, film and video as expressive media have shaped her life. Her themes focus on social issues, older traditions and questions about people's similarities, differences and motivations.

These questions led Mara to study world mythologies and religions, particularly the work of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Her enthusiasm for first-hand experience of the wisdom of older traditions has led her to study sacred dance from around the world and to unique travel experiences in Europe, Asia and Central America.

In Mexico, she has interviewed shaman and tribal leaders in the native Huichol tribe, descendants of the Aztecs. They discussed forgiveness and attitudes toward aging and death. Images include traditional music, scenes from daily lives and sacred arts. In Bali, she studied the art of shadow puppets and dance, intrinsic elements in the Balinese Hindu religion. On the Greek island of Crete, she wrote and painted for several months in a mountain cave facing the Mediterranean Sea, influenced by their ancient Minoan culture. These experiences have helped her learn to recognize and respect the many values humans share, and to focus on our similarities rather than our differences.

Mara Alper
Mara teaches digital video, media art and animation at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY as an Associate Professor.
AWARDS, GRANTS & HONORS
Global Social Action Film Festival, Bali

2011

Kampo Musuem, Kyoto, Japan 

2010

Experimental Television Center (15)

1990 - 2011

Sadhu Poetry Video Festival, India

2006

New York State Council on the Arts

2004

Walker Art Center          

2003

Berlin  Sommerfest der Literaturen

2002

James B. Pendleton Grant (6)   

2000-2010

Johnson Museum of Art           

2000

Wexner Center for the Arts

1998

Museum of Modern Art, NYC

1997

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

1996

Dallas Museum of Fine Art

1994

Folkwang Museum, Dusseldorf

1993

Axe-Houghton Foundation (2)   

1993-95

Dance Film Association Gold Medal

1991

NEA/Rockefeller Foundation Inter-Arts Grant

1990

National Educational Film & Video Gold Medal

1990

Sundance Institute Screenwriting Finalist

1988

Yaddo Colony Fellowship

1987

Millay Colony Fellowship

1986

MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2)

1985, 1993

B.A. Harpur College, SUNY Binghamton, Theater/English
Magna Cum Laude

M.A. New York University, Educational Theater
Summa Cum Laude